If any of you have ever doubted that Western Australia has been built out of corruption, try this one. Numerous mining and development projects have been given approval by the horrifically inept and corrupt Environmental Protection Agency (that friend of miners) when by their own admission there were conflicts of interest on the board.
This includes board members having shares in the very companies they were granting approval to for environmentally damaging and invasive projects.
So what does the Western Australian Government do? Stop these illegal projects (they are on a massive scale)? NO, they are seeking retrospectively to ‘validate’ the projects by changing legislation. See this article for more details.
Australia has become a mockery under the rule of conservative governments, greedy mining interests, and with its increasing tendency to racism and bigotry in media, sports, community and elsewhere. It is a disgrace and yet, other than the few who will always stand up and show their hands against these corruptions and exploitations, so many Australians want life to roll on as complacently as usual for them. The Lucky Country despite the irony of that name should be the Selfish Country; time to be blunt about it. The Australian environment is abused and destroyed — every speck of it will be consumed through one trick or another. Zoos are all so many Australians seem to take to heart.
Further to the above, last week I sent this letter to a number of editors of journals and newspapers... I guess it speaks for itself:
dear editors, though you are arts and literary editors, and not political editors, some of you will not be surprised by this missive — especially where i have corresponded with you for many years. however, i do appreciate that you still might have doubts regarding the relevance of this given your positions (or independence from editorial policy) in terms of your newspapers’/journals’ political hierarchy.
i am one who firmly believes there is no separation of the arts and politics, and whatever we say and do artistically impacts someone somewhere — silence can be a powerful tool, but more so are words, images and music. i wish to register my absolute disgust with australian political culture, and for me that is most effectively articulated through arts practice and through communicating with those who comment on the arts in australia. your position, in some ways, is more ‘powerful’ than the opinion pieces of your newspapers’ social and political commentators.
i have never taken you for granted, nor seen you as ‘artsy’ neutral. you are not. you have as much responsibility as any of us to demonstrate an awareness of what is happening in an australia that is seeking to gain a part, a role, in the redistribution of power around the globe. we have had right-wing governments before, but few have been so aggressive and militaristic — few would put a position in ukraine over genuinely and commitedly helping to tackle the ebola outbreak in africa. the warmongering desire to create a militarised zone that is ‘team australia’ is oppressive in so many ways with little liberty or freedom about it (as in the ‘boats’ turned back on the ‘high seas’).
i feel we have reached a watershed in our literary as well as our socio-political history, and i beg you to speak out or at least register that we are being confronted with a ‘putin in australia’ itself. i’ve long joked that abbott is more putin than putin, and now he wants to wrestle him in the bear pit to show what kind of balls he has. fertile, aren’t they! the macho posturing is beyond embarrassing, it’s bloody dangerous.
as this government plays the uranium game, the world war game, and the team australia game, too many australians are starting to look benignly upon and indifferent to what’s being played out. it’s not the case — and it’s certainly not the case with any of you whom i have worked with, admired, had differences or agreements with! point is, you are arts/literary people working to give us more than material comfort, more than aggressive satisfaction, more than the sum of our selves.
you matter and have voices. please speak out!